How to Make a Tissue Paper Sunflower

    by F.R.R. Mallory

    About the Author

    F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.


    Even in the middle of winter, a tissue paper sunflower can brighten up a room. Because not all sunflowers are the same, you can make your tissue paper sunflowers in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, ranging from bright yellow to a golden melon color and from small to very large. Us the flowers to decorate a bedroom, kitchen or dining room, or make a few small sunflowers to decorate a gift bag, place in a vase or give to a special friend.

    Things You'll Need

    • Yellow tissue paper
    • Golden tissue paper
    • Dark green tissue paper
    • Brown tissue paper
    • Small sturdy paper plate
    • White glue
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Hole punch
    • Mixed package of pipe cleaners

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    Place one sheet each of yellow, gold and dark green tissue paper in a pile. Fold the pile of tissue paper in half four times. You should end up with a square that is approximately 6 inches on each side.

    Cut two or three petal shapes out of the folded paper, using strong scissors. This will allow you to cut through many layers at once. Vary the size and shape of the petals. This should produce 48 leaves in two colors along with 24 green leaves.

    Glue the green leaves to the back side of a small paper plate, starting near the center. Apply the glue first, then press the tissue into the glue. Add more glue and leaves in a spiral design covering all of the back of the plate and extending over the sides.

    Glue yellow and gold leaves around the perimeter of the front of the paper plate. Overlap your leaves, but leave about 2 inches in the center of the plate open. Mix your colors. You can even fold your leaves in half to create a more dimensional look.

    Tear one sheet of brown tissue paper in half twice. This should produce a roughly 10-inch by 10-inch square. Scrunch up the paper and work your hands around it to form a flat circle. It should look wrinkled and uneven.

    Apply white glue to the open center area on the front of the plate and press the rounded brown tissue into the glue. Add more glue to tack down any area you want to lay more flat. Allow your sunflower to dry for one hour.

    Add glue to one end of a sunflower seed and press the seed into the brown paper. Repeat the process to add as many seeds as you like.

    Punch two holes in the paper plate about 1 inch apart. Use two or three large pipe cleaners twisted together to make a strong stem. Thread the pipe cleaners through the holes and twist them together. Shape your stem the way you want. You can glue a few green leaves to the stem if you want to.

    • Use a black marker to make dots to represent seeds if you don't have sunflower seeds available or don't want to attach them to the tissue paper.
    • Don't worry about each petal or leaf being perfect, the sunflower will appear more natural if it has irregularities.